Season 3 Review
It's that time of the month again so put on your seatbelts, wear your protective sunglasses and prepare to behold the majesty of the graphs!
The average score for this season is 6.192, which is 1 point lower than season 2. If I had given The Die is Cast
that elusive fifth star then the two seasons would have exactly the same score. That means that season 3 is the second highest scoring season of Trek that I've reviewed, although in reality season 2 and 3 are pretty much tied for the top spot. The trendline shows that the season was was remarkably consistent, the first and second halves of the season are pretty much on the same level.
The majority of the episodes were good to mediocre with very few poor episodes. There were also three episodes that I consider classics and none that I considered to be bottom of the barrel (remember that Meridian
was saved a little by its b-plot). While the average score for the season is about the same as season 2, it's becoming more consistent and that's a good sign for its future.
I rated five episodes this season below average, six were average, and fifteen were above average.
Best episode: Improbable Cause
Worst episode: Meridian
With Fields and Piller gone and Ron Moore and René Echevarria joining the writing staff, how will things change among the writers this season?
Ron Moore wins this season with a score of 7.2 out of five episodes. As a self-confessed Moore fanboy, this was to be expected. Echevarria is next with a score of 6.8 out of five episodes. Not bad for the rookies. Next up is Wolfe who continues to improve his score to 6.125 out of eight episodes. Finally, Behr's score dropped this season to 5.625 out of his eight episodes. So where does this leave the writers after three seasons?
Fields keeps his lead (7.571) but Ron Moore is giving him a run for his money, and Echevarria isn't far behind. Either one of them could overtake him, but they need to up their game to become the ultimate champion and win the trophy. (Disclaimer: There is no trophy.) Wolfe overtakes Behr to reach an average of 5.563, but he still trails the series average at this point. Behr's average also improves to 5.5 which puts him level with Michael Piller, but I'm giving Behr the edge as he has written more episodes by this point.
Next season will see Hans Beimler joining the writing staff as a regular, and with four seasons to go this race is still wide open.
Runabouts Lost: 3 (+1)
Form of... : 15 (+3)
Wormhole in Peril: 4 (+3)
Sykonee's Counter: 16 (+3)
Stupid French Things: 1 (+0)
Season 1 Average: 5.211
Season 2 Average: 6.231
Season 3 Average: 6.192
Overall Average: 5.944
Voyager Average After 3 Seasons: 4.791
Enterprise Average After 3 Seasons: 5.187
Babylon 5 Average After 3 Seasons: 5.731
So that was season 3, the first year of the Dominion Cold War and DS9's main story-arc finally kicks into gear. How was it? It was okay, but the Dominion aren't there
yet. The introduction of the Dominion was competent, but it wasn't wildly successful like the introduction of the Borg. Q Who
did a great job of introducing the Borg as an unstoppable foe, but what made them legendary was the follow-up in Best of Both Worlds
. The Jem'Hadar successfully introduced the Dominion as a threat, but the follow-up in The Search
wasn't anywhere near as successful as BOBW
. They weren't quite the fearsome enemies that the show wanted them to be and they've been struggling to get them up to that level all season. Did they make it? Kinda. I think that The Die is Cast
and The Adversary
successfully portrayed the danger of the Changeling threat, but it took almost an entire season to get to that point. Meanwhile, the Jem'Hadar are still little more than thugs and the Vorta, as mentioned earlier in the thread, have been MIA. The Dominion threat has been wasted most of this season, and just as they're hitting their stride things are about to be taken off course by the Klingons. (Or so it will seem.)
What about the characters? It's said a lot but that's because it's true, Sisko's character really takes shape this year. Badass Sisko begins to take over the character in Past Tense
, but there's also a noticeable difference in his personality once he grows the beard. You can sense that Avery Brooks was more comfortable with that look. Bashir has also grown this season, the obnoxiousness that defined him in season one and which lingered somewhat in season 2 is all but gone. Kira's edges have been softened and she seems more bubbly in personality, which is a realistic change for someone in her position. Odo successfully transitioned from the gimmick of him being the only one of his kind to the gimmick of being torn between two worlds, and it adds another layer of depth to his character. Overall, I'd say that this was Odo's season and he takes over Kira's role as the most interesting character on the show, which is partly due to the decision to move away from Bajor stories in favour of the Dominion.
Overall, season 3 developed the show in the right direction, although perhaps not as quickly as I would have liked. There are still signs of its TNG roots in places, but it continues to grow its unique attributes and it is slowly developing into something not before seen in the Trek franchise. This season may not have been a considerable improvement over season 2, but there are indications that the show is telling stories greater than the episodic nature of the other shows.